Online social networks draw the attention of non-users because of all of the privacy concerns that surround them, even though they present opportunities for interaction among users. Facebook is mainly for college and high school students and communities. Facebook stands out the most because it has huge success with college students, users have the ability to control the amount and quality of personal information to make available and because the personal information is personally identified. Facebook has more than 9 million and counting users. It has the ability to have more than 80% of all undergraduates in many colleges. Because Facebook requires an email address to activate an account, the validity of each user increases. It also helps give the impression that Facebook is a secure, closed, trustworthy community.
I find it interesting that non-members are most concerned about privacy than actual members. It’s kind of like when your mother worries about your safety at a party and you think it is completely safe. Or when you know something is not a problem but someone who doesn’t exactly know what’s going on is fearful. I do, however, think the statistics for people who had never heard of Facebook is pretty accurate for the age groups. Maybe not in 2009, but in 2006 that is pretty believable. I think now almost everyone has at least heard of Facebook. I don’t even think I knew what Facebook was in 2006. I was a late Facebooker.
Journal of Interactive Marketing, 22(2), 2-18.
Yoo, C. Y., (2008).
In light of the considerable findings that consumers do not pay attention to advertising, Yoo examines the role implicit memory plays in the effectiveness of ads. A study was conducted in which level of attention was manipulated, and attitudes towards brands were measured. The results indicate that positive attitudes towards brands increased regardless of the level of attention directed at the advertisement. Moreover, while participants who received the implicit memory condition were not as likely as those receiving the explicit memory condition to include the target brand in a list of brands which they would consider when making a particular purchase, they were more likely to list the brand than those who had received no ad exposure. This shows that exposure to ads, even while accompanied by low attention, can increase the role the advertised brand plays in consumption choices. Thus, while focused attention on internet ads is ideal, even mere exposure to ads with minimal or no attention can have positive effects. The author hypothesizes that this is due to implicit memory and priming effects, in which previously stored memory is unconsciously and unintentionally retrieved and utilized.
Yoo's article provides a response to alarmed reports that consumers are not paying attention to internet advertising. While the study notes that audiences which are interested in and attending to advertising messages are ideal and should be sought after, it also refutes the idea that internet advertising which does not evoke this response is useless, ineffective, or a waste of money and space. This is especially good news for advertisers considering some of the abysmal findings of other studies. One of the key strengths of Yoo's work is that it provides not only findings, but also a theoretical framework rooted in previous psychological work which facilitates understanding of the findings. This theory can in part explain some of the conflicting studies, some of which decry internet advertising as a lost cause and others which consider its fate not so hopeless or even downright promising. The findings also provide a clear path for advertisers: continue to strive for increased attention to advertising, but meanwhile continue purchasing ad space because it is likely to do some good.